38 Years

Photo credit: D Sharon PruittToday is my birthday.

I’ve been spinning around the sun on this big, beautiful world for 38 years. Not many women will own up to their true age but I will. Each year is a victory so I celebrate each one.

I was thinking about all the things that have happened in my world during those 38 years.

28 years ago I was diagnosed with arthritis. It changed my life in many ways – some good, some not so much. But I wouldn’t change a thing.

24 years ago I bought my first horse. 4 years ago I said goodbye to her. Those years with that silly black horse were a treasure.

24 years ago I met my best friend. She is my person. I’d be lost without her.

20 years ago I was paroled from high school. I hated almost every minute of those years but still, I wouldn’t change a thing.

19 years ago I graduated with my bachelor’s degree. I thought I was finally a big fancy adult. I wasn’t. I’m not sure that I will ever be a proper adult. And I’m good with that.

17 years ago I finally stopped hiding that I was sick. I finally started telling people that I had Rheumatoid Arthritis. One of the smartest things I ever did.

12 years ago I caught my first glimpse of Ireland from the plane window. The rolling green hills touched a part of my soul in that instant and I fell in love.

10 years ago I started a new job that has led me to friends that I’ll treasure for the rest of my days.

8 years ago I got my first letter from my birth mother. I sat on the curb outside of my house and sobbed as I read the letter. My world changed in a thousand wonderful ways after that day.

7 years ago I started going to a little country church. I had no idea how much that church would change my life. I’m blessed every single day by the people that make up my church family.

5 years ago I said goodbye to a sweet horse that I had known for years even though I’d only called him mine for a little while. He first belonged to one friend, then another before coming to me. And he waited to leave the world until we were together again for the first time in years.

4 years ago I said goodbye to the horse that changed my life. She was my heart on four legs and I still miss her every single day. She’s the first one I hope to see when I reach Heaven.

3 years ago I started grad school, finally decided to chase my dream of being a writer. It was the first thing I had ever done that was solely for myself, not something to please others or something others expected of me. It was one of the smartest and scariest things I ever did.

So looking back…it has been a full 38 years. I’ve said goodbye to far too many people/animals that I loved. I’ve seen friendships end and friendships begin. I’ve seen sickness and surgery. I’ve traveled. I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. I’ve had my world filled with so much joy and love…I can’t believe how lucky I’ve been.

I hope that your years, whatever they my number, have been as rich and full as mine have been.

Happy my birthday everyone. Or happy Wednesday. Either or.

Love and blessings,
Elise

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